Zenker's Diverticulum-Patient Information
by Dr. Christopher Chang, last modified on 9/2/12
Zenker's Diverticulum is a rare swallowing disorder due to a pouch that forms in the esophagus immediately below the level of the voicebox. There have been many ways developed to treat this disorder. The two main approaches are transcervical approaches by making an incision in the neck and endoscopic approaches where the procedure is performed through the mouth without making any incision in the neck.
Although there are several different surgical ways to treat this problem, our practice considers the endoscopic staple approach the superior method to address this disorder due to minimal surgical time (around 30-45 minutes), outpatient surgery (patients usually go home day of surgery), and quick recovery (patients may eat regular food the day after the procedure). Of note, Dr. Chang has extensive knowledge on the treatment of this disorder and has authored peer-reviewed journal articles and a book chapter on this subject. This procedure has been presented at national meetings and there may be a local surgeon who may be able to perform this procedure (unfortunately, we do not know who they are).
Should you wish to see Dr. Chang to see if you are a candidate for this procedure, there are several things you can do to expedite your evaluation. Have your local physician obtain a Barium Swallow esophagram and bring the actual films and report with you to your appointment. No other study related to the Zenker's Diverticulum is needed if you are in general good health. If you live far away (ie, more than a 90 minute drive), here are some other instructions.
Also, you can familiarize yourself with the risks of the procedure by reading our consent form.
Directions to the Clinic (Warrenton, Virginia): We are located in Northern Virginia about 1 hour west from Washington DC and 30 minutes away from Washington Dulles International Airport.
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